Espada y Daga seminar

lhommedieu

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Tom Bisio will be teaching an espada y daga workshop in New York on September 15.

This seminar is for individuals with some background in the either the Filipino martial arts or other martial arts systems that employ sticks or edged weapons. Beginners are welcome, but are advised to bring a partner.

The Island of Cebu is noted for producing some of the finest martial artists in the Philippines. In the early 1900s, the Saavedra brothers were the most feared fighters in Cebu and many of the great eskrimadors of that century trained with them. Filemon (Momoy) Canete learned directly from the Saavedras, and the stick and dagger methods of San Miguel Eskrima are based directly on their teachings.

This seminar will present the essence of the eskrima of Filemon Canete. Techniques and training methods will be presented clearly and completely, so that seminar participants can continue to progress after the seminar's completion.

Tom Bisio has been a practitioner of the Filipino Martial Arts for over twenty years. He has trained with such notable teachers as Leo Gaje (Pekiti Tersia Arnis) and Filemon Canete (San Miguel Eskrima). In 1979 he won the first World Stick Fighting Championship (Instructor's Division) held in Cebu, Philippines.

The seminar will be held on September 15, 2002, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Whitestone Fighting Arts, in Whitestone (Queens) N.Y. Cost is $60.00. Space is limited and a deposit is required to hold your place.

Please contact Stephen Lamade at lhommedieu@hotmail.com (email) or 718-886-7748 (phone), for further information.

Best,

Steve Lamade
 
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lhommedieu

lhommedieu

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Sure, no problem.

I posted this about a month ago on the Filipino Martial Arts forum:

"Twenty three people attended. Experience ranged from those who were instructors in other systems, to those with limited experience in the FMA's but who studied other martial arts. Judging by the smiles and conversations I would say that the seminar was an unqualified success, but hey, I sponsored it.

Tom Bisio introduced Counters to Strikes with variations to include disarms, locks, and throws. We moved on to counter for counter drills and ended with a 4-Count sequence from "Balle Balle Redondo" that introduced circular stepping patterns and moving in and out of range. All of the above were done with espada y daga.

There are two reviews of the seminar at www.dogbrothers.com (in the "Forum/Public Forum" link on the "A Big Thanks to Steve Lamade" thread).

For more information about San Miguel Eskrima - I've also posted on the "espada y daga" thread on this forum."

Note: the Dogbrothers Forum page is probably back on pg. 2 or 3 of their forum by now.

To find out more about San Miguel Eskrima, you can go to our webpage at:

www.eskrima.com

Best Wishes,

Steve Lamade
 
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lhommedieu

lhommedieu

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Originally posted by arnisador

Can you say more about circular stepping patterns (vs. triangular)?

Most practitioners of Filipino martial arts are familiar with male and female (triangular) stepping patterns that are designed to out-flank the opponent, provide distance and angles, create an entry against an opponent, and to apply leverage when locking or throwing. Triangular stepping patterns can be combined with sidestepping, forward/backward step-shuffling (bringing one foot to another before stepping forward or backward with the other foot), and stepping through with the other foot, to create an infinite array of more complex patterns that can be trained as drills. Some variations might include: a diamond-shaped pattern, an upside down T pattern, a W shaped pattern, and an X pattern. For example, one might step forward and laterally to the left with the left foot on a 45 degree angle in response to an opponents right hand backhand strike (and strike or block with a backhand strike with the right hand), and then step forward and medially to the right with the right foot on a 45 degree angle (back to center) as you check the stick hand with the left hand and thrust with the right. The footwork would therefore comprise the left-hand side of a diamond-shaped pattern. (For an excellent example of footwork patterns, see the Dogbrothers' Footwork video from their first series of tapes, which explores several variations of Pekiti Tirsia footwork, among others).

San Miguel Eskrima, because it employs a largo-length stick in one hand and a dagger in the other, uses triangular stepping patterns but elongates them to account for the increased distance between the participants. Although the system may sometimes appear very linear, that is because the angle of the triangles is much steeper than is usually seen. (I believe that this is because San Miguel Eskrima is strongly influenced by Spanish rapier-sword and dagger fencing, wherein the thrust is given as much emphasis as the cut, and also because of the almost exclusive use of the daga thrust as a finishing technique but thats another story.)

Circular stepping patterns are easy to imagine (although a picture is worth a thousand words) if you think of the opponent as standing in the center of a large circle that is defined as the radius created by the reach of his longest and closest weapon. Any lateral movement in response to an attack moves along the arc of the circle (to the right or to the left). A counter can take place at this distance but may also involve moving forward towards the opponent on his flank. In this case, the counter defines a segment of the circle, i.e., a pie piece. San Miguel Eskrima drills like Balle Balle Redondo involve counters to both the stick and the dagger, wherein the practitioner moves laterally across the arc of the circle at some points (lateral movement), and yet is capable of moving in and out of the perimeter at other points. The drill therefore involves a series of responses that comprise different segments of the pie that are linked together to complete the whole circle. In essence, he is learning to sidestep, flank, and enter on a segment: and then move laterally again after moving back out. (This is especially important because he is facing two weapons from either side.) An eight-strike sequence may involve lateral movement to the left, forward movement followed by backward movement, and then two lateral movements in a row to the right. For example, in the first Balle Balle Redondo "circle," a sequence of lateral movements is repeated over and over again, resulting in a net gain of movement to the right each time the sequence is completed. If this sequence is repeated over and over, you complete a counter-clockwise circle around the opponent.

I hope I havent made my description more complicated than it has to be. Obviously I am trying to paint a verbal picture and descriptions like lateral movement to the right are intended as formal approximations of a step here, an adjustment there, etc. What I have attempted to describe is also known as quartering. Most martial arts teach something similar: think of how western boxing, for example, emphasizes how to keep the left foot constantly on the outside of the opponents right foot (if both are in a conventional stance). Both opponents are therefore circling to the left until one breaks the pattern and closes with different footwork. (For example, if my opponent is circling to my right and I am circling to his left, I can break this pattern with a slight side-step with my (rear) right foot followed by a step in with my left foot as I jab. Of course, in this moment I am also open to his rear right cross.) What follows is either a) nothing, b) one-sided contact of some kind, c) an exchange of blows of some kind, and d) a clinch (which may include some kind of follow-up.) In all cases (with the exception of a knockout), once the action has concluded both fighters separate and the action continues again, with both fighters circling each other. Again, this is a very theoretical picture of what is going on. The point is that without lateral movement, offensive closing and defensive retreating footwork is usually not very successful for very long. This is especially true of defensive footwork, where I may get a step, maybe two, straight back (but usually no more) before I have to circle to my right or left. As for offensive movement, its usually better to flank away from his power side while hitting; if you can get to his back so much the better.

Balle Balle Redondo is an good drill for training this kind of circular movement when you are fighting with espada y daga.

Best,

Steve Lamade
 

arnisador

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Thanks, that was quite educational! It sounds like, between the steep triangles and the circular arcs, that it's kind of like having two triangles, let's say "acute" (nearer to a straigt line movement toward the opponent) and "obtuse" (nearer to a side step). When all is said and done, a step is from one point to another, so while viewing it as an arc of a circle makes obvious sense to me, in the end it's as though it were a triangular step. The advantage of the circle as the extreme point of an opponent's weapon is clear despite this, especially if one intends to make several steps around this periphery.

Hopefully I haven't misunderstood!
 
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lhommedieu

lhommedieu

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Yes, that's right. When all is said and done, a lateral sidestep followed by an advancing or retreating step with the other foot is still a triangle.

Generally, the length and type of weapon should dictate the footwork and not the other way around. San Miguel Eskrima concentrates almost exclusively on espada y daga. The concept of the circle (as described in the previous post) is important because an attempt to move in after countering the espada strike
can be re-countered by the opponent's daga thrust, especially if you are still on the inside (between his two arms, so to speak).

Generally this is dealt with in two ways. 1) countering his daga thrust with your daga while sidestepping to the right; 2) parrying his daga thrust with your espada while sidestepping to the right (assuming that he is thrusting with his left hand). In both cases the movement is to the right along the periphery of the circle (which can also be described as the base of a male triangle).

I'll grant that this very theoretical discussion of footwork is difficult to sustain on paper [or on the computer screen]. Perhaps if Santa is good to me I'll add some digitial video hardware to my computer and try to show some of this on my website in the next couple of months.

Irrespective of what kind of footwork your system teaches, the important thing to remember is that it has to be very light and fast to be effective. It does not need to be especially sophisticated to be effective - just appropriate to that split-second moment in time when the counter or re-counter is applied. One could spend a lifetime just training how to strike at the precise moment the advancing or retreating foot touches the floor...

Best,

Steve Lamade
 
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